CAPE GIRARDEAU - The Sikeston eighth grade basketball team won its first game of the year by defeating Poplar Bluff 41-39 in the Cape Junior High Tournament on Wednesday.
The win by Sikeston avenged an earlier lopsided loss this year to the junior high Mules.
Sikeston (1-10) led 18-13 at the half and 40-28 at one point in the fourth quarter before Poplar Bluff rallied to the end.
Poplar Bluff had three chances in the final seconds to tie the game by Dominic Fondon blocked a final attempt at the buzzer to preserve the victory.
"We really played well and we played smart," said Sikeston coach Kevin Self. "But we just barely held on. These kids have never been in that situation before, but we held on. Dominic had a blocked shot at the end and then the buzzer sounded. They got two or three shots and then we got the block. The kids were excited about it and they should be."
Sikeston plays Cape Central tonight at 7:15 for the tournament championship.
Sikeston was led by Timmy Hart's 14 points. Robert Brooks and Caleb Davidson each had nine points. Fondon had four points, Jake Pratcher had three points and Lamondra Newsom had two points.
"Give these kids a couple years and I think they can come together," said Self. "They're just very inexperienced right now, but they've got a little bit of everything and I think they can improve down the road."